When you think of York 10, 20 or even 50 years from now, what do you envision? What would a healthy, vibrant York look like to you? This question has been on the minds of many lately, particularly with regard to climate change.
How can we create a community with a healthy economy, good jobs and prepared for the impacts of changing climate? These are the kinds of questions we will be asking as we prepare for a climate action plan in York.
Last fall the Select Board approved the York Energy Steering Committee’s (ESC) recommendation to cut the carbon emissions across the entire community in half by 2030 and to zero by 2050. The Board also approved funding, at the ESC’s recommendation, to create a climate action plan as a roadmap for achieving those goals.
It’s one thing to come up with a list of actions to reduce emissions, but this climate action plan will be so much more. It will:
- Analyze and determine the top risks for York as we face a changing climate.
- Find cost-effective ways to adapt so we can minimize those risks.
- Identify the activities our community and town government should take to reduce our emissions and increase the use of renewable energy sources by all residents.
- Project both the emissions reductions expected from those actions and the relative costs and personal benefits of meeting those expectations.
- Determine who will be responsible for managing and conducting the activities, estimated time for implementation, the costs of each activity, if any, and the off-setting financial and qualitative benefit of completing each activity in the allotted time.
If the referendum is approved in May, York will have funds to hire an experienced, New England community-recommended consultant to lead a York resident-driven climate planning program. Your ideas will be pivotal to developing York’s action plans. The combination of experienced guidance with committed York volunteers and your participation will result in a realistic outcome-focused road map to transform York to a zero-carbon emission, economically vibrant community for all York residents. The work must be equitable and fair to all.
Want to get involved?
You are welcome to attend and lend your voice at meetings of the Energy Steering Committee, which meets on the third Thursday of every month at 7 PM in the Wheeler Room of the York Public Library.
The citizen climate action group York Ready for Climate Action Clean Renewable Energy also meets monthly on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 6:30 PM in the Wheeler Room. For more information, contact Mac McAbee, Chair, at [email protected] or see yorkreadyfor100.org.